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Old 06-21-2017, 03:06 PM   #1
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Default 1997 Roadtrek Popular w/ Dodge 318

Hello All,

Former boater wanting to get into an affordable Class B van for 2-3 week cross country trips w/ wife and 10 lb dog and 150 mile local trips pulling small trilr w/ ATV, mostly on flats. (1,200 lb)

I've located a unit w/ 81k mi, new tranny 10K ago, new radiator, new brakes and lines, new ball joints, new ac, new cushions, new cat convrtr and sensors.

2rd owner, stored inside, clean unit. Everything works. I haven't seen it in person yet.

Asking 16K.

I d like to use unit for 10-15 years and put 100k on it.

Do any have experience w/ this engine/unit? Share history and problems to look for. I'd rather have a chevy but they sit pretty low to ground for my ATV trips. Any suggestions appreciated. I'm pretty handy but not a monkeyman.
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Old 06-21-2017, 10:11 PM   #2
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I have that exact same year and model, and it is a well built machine, the motor is strong enough and still fairly good on gas, we have driven everywhere with this Roadtrek from Northern Canada ,to the East coast to the west coast to the Florida keys, have nearly 200,000 miles on it, and it still runs strong as the day I bought it. I really like it because if it does break down, parts are easy to find, and very affordable, a lot of it you can fix yourself, I really feel it was a well built, and well planned class B rv. As the miles go up, you may have to put some dollars into it, but compared to the price of a new class B, your still better off. Its just my opinion, but It is the best for me and my family..Good luck with it, if you have any specific questions, please just ask,,,take care,,,,
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Old 06-22-2017, 01:30 PM   #3
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Thanks for the strong recommendation. Glad you got a great unit.
A few more Q's.
What highway mpg do you get?
Are you on the original tranny? Do you have a cooler and scangauge.
This unit failed at 70K, makes me think the towed with it.
Do you like the divider?
This unit has an armoire in lieu of the jumpseat. I would have to switch out for a fold up bed for gaucho ATV camping.
What is your ground clearance?
Does it have air bags that would raise it a bit for my gravel road ATV site?

Thanks for your input!

Ted
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Old 06-22-2017, 08:56 PM   #4
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Hi Ted, Ill try my best to answer your questions, and concerns. For the MPG, I do use a scanguage, and I realistically get between 16 - 18 mpg, depends a lot if I'm weighed down with the water tanks, and all my kayaking gear, and bikes, going through mountains or the flat lands, but even with those Mpg, I'm still really pleased with it. It has a fairly large gas tank, I get close to 800km/480 miles to a tank of fuel. As for the tranny, I'm not sure if it is the original or not, I bought mine used from a dealer who got it as a trade in on a newer model, they didn't want to work on it, so I got a great deal as is, where is .But the tranny so far is holding up strong with no slipping yet. I do change the tranny fluid and filter, every spring, just to ensure it runs well. I always keep an eye on it to make sure the tranny temperature doesn't get to hot, that's the big one I think we have to watch. It did come with a fairly large tranny cooler, that appears to still be in great shape., We do have the armoire also, but the front seats sviwel around, and it does make into a third bed using the front passenger seat, and the seat behind it, it actually works quite well, and comfortable. My unit does not have the air bags, I did upgrade it to some heavy duty Monroe shocks that have greatly improved the ride and feel of the van, and the ground clearance is approxamitely 11" from the bottom of the side fibreglass fairings.I hope this helps you out, .There is one more thing I forgot to mention, is that these older Dodges have a reputation for wandering a bit due to some steering issues. On mine there is a slight bit of wander, But I have heard from others where it is quite excessive. When you take yours out for a test drive keep an eye on it, and see if it is something you notice while you are driving,, just something to look out for,,,anyways,,, hope this helps with what you need, take care,,,,,,,,,,,Josef,,,,,
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Old 06-23-2017, 01:39 PM   #5
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Thanks Josef.
That's pretty good mileage. I like the aerodynamic profile of the top.
I will be sure to check out any wander if I get to test drive. Still in my research phase. I read somewhere on here about a spacer kit for the rear wheels. Not sure what that is about yet.
Does yours have the divider wall around the bathroom?
Ted
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Old 06-23-2017, 06:43 PM   #6
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Hi Ted, I have heard good and bad things about the spacers, from what I understand is that the rear wheel measurement is narrower than the front wheel width dimension, so people are adding spacers to the rear wheels to make them equal, and hopefully help with the wandering that is known to be on the Dodges, I have read where people have had success with them, and have also read where they can be dangerous, and prone to snapping off. I don't have them, so I really cant say either way about them. About the divider with the bathroom, On my unit, the bathroom door opens, and there is a hinged door attatched to it, so when fully open, it does become a divider, or privacy door, It does work fairly well, gives plenty of space and privacy when you need it. there is also a hinged door on the rear cupboard behind the bathroom, so when it is fully opened it will give you privacy from the rear,,,,smartly done with the amount of space that is in there,,,,,,Hope this helps,,,take care,,,let me know what you think after your test drive, ,,,,,
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Old 07-02-2017, 12:24 PM   #7
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hello Ted

We also have the same B , ours is the 170 popular. We love ours also .we have just about 300,000 km on ours. We just bought last year to see if this is how we want to travel with our 3 big dogs ( so wife and i and 3 chihuahua's )

We just went on a 7000 +/- km trip to Florida and back. Great trip no bad issues that could not be fixed, so this van works for us. We found it very compact for getting in and around places we are new to and lots of room for how we travel

About the same gas mileage as Josef, hope this helps

David
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Old 07-03-2017, 10:59 PM   #8
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Default 97 rt

Hi.
I have this rig too.......love it!
Just did the spacers and airbags. I can literally take my hands off the wheel for so long that it's scary.
Everything on my unit works great.
I do not run the generator as much as I should. So,I do have to play with it to get her up and running once in a while.
Added solar and batteries ....ready for anything.
The airbags are for weight and leveling,not really for raising the height. But it dose lift her up a bit.
For extra height . Would be best to add leafs to the rear,higher springs up front.
I just put on new AT tires.....still super quite....rides nice.
I got mine for a steal from the dealership I work at. No one knew what it was worth but me.
Anyway. I love mine,goes anyway a van will go.
If you have any questions just drop me a line.
Cheers and Luck.
Eddie
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Old 07-04-2017, 12:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eraygunz View Post
Hi.
I have this rig too.......love it!
Just did the spacers and airbags. I can literally take my hands off the wheel for so long that it's scary.
Everything on my unit works great.
I do not run the generator as much as I should. So,I do have to play with it to get her up and running once in a while.
Added solar and batteries ....ready for anything.
The airbags are for weight and leveling,not really for raising the height. But it dose lift her up a bit.
For extra height . Would be best to add leafs to the rear,higher springs up front.
I just put on new AT tires.....still super quite....rides nice.
I got mine for a steal from the dealership I work at. No one knew what it was worth but me.
Anyway. I love mine,goes anyway a van will go.
If you have any questions just drop me a line.
Cheers and Luck.
Eddie
Where did you get your wheel spacers?
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Old 07-04-2017, 11:27 AM   #10
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Hi,again.
You can get them just about anywhere. Summit racing has them ,any car site just about has them too. Even can find them on eBay.
Most sites do not list the 3500 Ram Van in the compatible listing.
But they are the same ones used on the 3500 truck/dualies.
If you want air bags too...drop me a line. I got the firestone ones from a company in Michagan.
They are super easy to install!
Might want to do both at same time,since the rear wheels will already be out of the way.
Also if you pull a trailer or load her up a bunch. You might need a little extra clearance for the tire in the wheel well.
And if your a car guy.......really gives it a better look with the tires sticking out just a bit!
I have spent thirty plus years in auto restoration. So if you have any paint or body issues. Just ask.
Thanks,hope this was helpful.
Sorry,I kinda carry on a bit.
Eddie
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